Celebrating 20 Years
Protecting the Environment 
2015 VEC Public Meetings: January 21, February 18, March 18, April 15, May 20, June 10, July 15, September 16, October 21, November 12, December 16. The commission meets once a month from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm on the 2nd floor of the Annex building of the Verona Community Center located at 880 Bloomfield Ave., Verona, NJ 07044. The public is welcome to attend.
All VEC members are Verona residents, serve without compensation and are appointed by the Mayor. Join us in protecting Verona's environment for the health and well being of all. Going "Green" together is easy. Contact us at veronaenvironmental@gmail.com or write to: Verona Environmental Commission, 6oo Bloomfield Avenue, Verona, New Jersey 07044.

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Grove Park Nov. 21 Opening Ceremony
All residents are cordially invited to attend the Grove Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, at 42 Grove Ave. in Verona, Saturday, Nov. 21st 2015, at 10:00 a.m. Verona Mayor and Councilmen will be present. Three of Verona's civic groups came together to create this Historic Park & Nature Preserve on the site of a 19th century community gathering place. This was later the homestead of Dr. Henry B. Whitehorne, the namesake of Verona's middle school. The wooded lot was restored thanks to a joint effort by the Verona Environmental Commission, the Junior Woman's Club of Verona and the Verona Historical Society. The existing woods were preserved and a short, sustainable nature trail was created, park benches and signage with information about the history of the site were added.
Trees and plants will be added during the Spring of 2016. Open space provides many benefits to the community. In  rapidly growing urban areas, any preserved land can offer relief from congestion. The Junior Woman's Club and the Historical Society donated $4,000 to the project. In the early 1800s this lot was the site of Personett’s Grove, a favorite meeting place for picnics, religious meetings and Fourth of July celebrations. Later Dr. Whitehorne built his home on the site. Whitehorne's home was destroyed by fire in the 1960s. The Weathon family owned the property until 1966. The township bought the 1.33 acre lot in 1975. The property has a significant historical value. Grove Ave. got its name from Personett's Grove. We appreciate the town's commitment to this preservation effort.
Verona's 1st Green Fair!
We had a great time at Verona's Green Fair on May 30th in the town center. The VEC played the recycling game with visitors, and distributed recycling bins, barrels and white pine tree saplings. Fair participants included 
Liberty Science Center  TechniArtPAWS of MontclairNJ Electric Auto Association, Morgan's FarmMoms Clean Air Force, Verona Spine & WellnessVerona YogaAlternative Fuel Education by Ron GrosingerUS Green Building Council of NJ and Essex County Master Gardeners among many others. Local organizations included the DPW with E-Waste Collection, VMAC & Verona Police with Unwanted Medicine Drop-off, Verona Library with a book swap, Hilltop Conservancy, Verona Girl Scout Tropp 21221, Verona Health Department and Recreation Department. There was live music all day, including the talented Matt HartkeFood was provided by the Thai Elephant. Pedal Montclair and Learning Express donated items for giveaways. The complete list is available here - Great job everyone!

Volunteers Clean The Peckman!
The Verona Environmental Commission organized a community cleanup of the Peckman river and woods on April 11. The environmental clubs from Verona High School and Montclair University helped make the event a success.

About 50 people donated their time to take care of the woods adjacent to the Peckman River,  helping to keep our waterways and trails safe and healthy for wildlife and for people. You can see several pictures of the event HEREThe group included a large number of students from Verona High School and Montclair University. The Peckman Trail entrance is located behind F. N. Brown School, at 125 Grove Ave. in Verona.

Volunteers Install Birdhouses
 The VEC purchased Bat, Screetch Owl and Bluebird houses with grant money and installed them along the Peckman trail with help from volunteers. The bat box was installed on a dead tree near the river. The best locations to install bat houses include rivers and streams since they are natural flyways for bats. New Jersey supports 6 year round resident bat species, the 2 species that people come into contact most frequently are big brown bats and little brown bats. Bats eat many harmful garden pests and mosquitoes. Eastern Screetch Owls like their houses in deep afternoon shade and preys on mice, voles and large insects such as moths and beetles. The Eastern Bluebird house was installed facing the open field. They feed by dropping to the ground onto insects or, in fall and winter, by perching on fruiting trees to gulp down berries.

Verona Awarded Bronze Certification
Verona Township has been awarded bronze level certification by Sustainable Jersey for 2015! Bronze certification means a municipality has made a commitment to sustainability and succeeded in implementing significant first steps, while silver certification means a municipality has made significant progress in a number of categories toward sustainability and is a state-wide and national leader. At Verona Environmental Commission encouragement, Verona Township joined Sustainable Jersey in 2014 and became the 400th municipality in the state to join the program. The VEC formally presented the program to the council members on November 2013 and provided information to residents at our table in the December 2013 Fair in the Square. A Green Team chaired by Steve Neale was appointed in 2014 to lead the local sustainability efforts and achieve certification.

New Anti Idling Resolution
At the VEC encouragement, the Verona Town Council approved a Resolution adopting a strong Anti Idling policy last January. The resolution essentially reinforces existing NJ State Law which prohibits idling in your car or truck beyond 3 minutes while parked. It also encourages drivers to turn off their engines immediately, especially in schools, drive through windows, gas stations, parking lots, etc. Municipally-owned vehicles are also included in the anti-idling campaign. Emissions from gasoline and diesel powered vehicles contribute significantly to air pollution, including greenhouse gases, ozone formation, fine particulates, and a multitude of potentially harmful pollutants that can trigger various respiratory ailments such as asthma. Enforcing this resolution would significantly improve public health, air quality, reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

The VEC at Fair in the Square
The Commission participated in Verona's Fair in the Square on Sunday, December 7th. 
Despite the cold and windy weather it was festive all day long with crafts and composting demonstrations (including a real composter on site). Kids made over 40 pine cone bird feeders and several snowflake ornaments with plastic bottles from HBW, previously cut by students from the Environmental Club. Several kids hung their bird feeders from nearby trees while others took them home with a brochure to help them identify common backyard birds. The commission also distributed composting brochures.

Verona Wins 2014 Environmental Award
The Association of NJ Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) presented its Environmental Achievement Awards to six local environmental commissions at the organization’s 41st Annual Environmental Congress on Oct. 24 at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg. This year’s Award winners include Environmental Commissions from Chatham Township, Manalapan, Oakland, Verona, West Windsor and Westville. The Hawthorne Environmental Commission earned honorable mention. Pictured VEC members Gloria Machnowski and Jim Loudon with former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, the keynote speaker at the event that gathered about 200 environmentalists from around the state. The VEC received the award for its recycling education campaign and video “Verona Recycling 101” produced by the commission in collaboration with students from the Verona High School Environmental Club and the the town's recycling manager. During the congress VEC commissioners also attended workshops such as "Trends in Local Open Space Preservation" and "New Jersey Water Supply".

VEC Annual Report: 
Please read HERE our report. The township encourages all residents to plant native trees and reduce, reuse, recycle,  and compost as much of their household waste as possible. The Verona Recycling Center, located at 10 Commerce Ct. is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Nixle live feed.

Poster Contest Winners!
We received over 200 entries from all Verona Public Schools for our 7th Annual Poster Contest. Pictured, the 2015 winners at the Award Ceremony in Verona Town Hall with the Town Council members -from left to right: Jack Latson from Laning Avenue School for 'It's Cool to Walk to School', Tigerlily Fischer from H. B. Whitehorne Middle School for 'Bike to School'; Nishini Fernando from Brookdale Avenue School for 'Green Up Verona'; Reese Falcone from Forest Avenue School for 'Be Kind to the Earth'; and Christopher Caldera from F. N. Brown School for 'Replant Because it's Fun'. VHS winner Annaliese Tietjen, author of 'Live Green', was not able to attend, she was participating in a Verona High School Soccer Team State game in Secaucus. Congratulations to all!

VEC Videos:
Poster Contest: 2 min. video of Verona students 2015 submissions to the 'Sustainable Verona' poster contest

Green Fair: 2 min. video of Verona's First Green Fair, May 30th, 2015 in the Civic Center. For a complete list of participants please visit Sustainable Verona

Alternative Fuel Education: We interviewed students that excel at converting cars to run on electric at the Verona Green Fair, May 30, 2015. The car was originally converted from gas to electric by Memorial High School students, in West New York, NJ. Their teacher, Ron Grosinger, showed the car at the fair with Mark Balzarette, an adjunct professor Bergen Community College and Kassem Alhussien, a former student from Memorial HS.

Verona Recycling 101: 6-minute video produced by the VEC in collaboration with students from the High School Environmental Club. The video received a 2014 Environmental Achievement Award from the Association of NJ Environmental Commissions. It was shot at the Verona Recycling Center. For more information please visit our Solid Waste and Recycling page and refer to the Verona Garbage and Recycling Schedule. 

Kids Ride to the Peckman Trail: 3 minutes video made by Verona kids with helmet camera.

Wastewater Treatment Facility: the commission produced this 8-minute video, please watch it to learn how you can help protect our waterways (click on the lower right corner icon for full screen).

Go Idle Free Verona is a 2 minute video, entirely shot and edited by VEC members in Verona. The commission would like to especially thank the HBW Environmental Club and the kids from Verona for their participation and support. We invite you to watch it and learn how you can help to enhance Verona's air quality. An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour! NJ State Law prohibits idling more than three minutes for both diesel and gasoline non-emergency vehicles. Please Turn the Key -Be Idle Free!

Verona Recycling Help Verona save money and go green. Click "play" below to watch our video and reduce, reuse and recycle as much as you can in Verona!

Let’s encourage kids to walk to school and support them by improving air quality and safe driving. Please watch our video presentation Idle Free Verona and spread the word!
Township Trees

All those trees planted in the curb strips along most streets are Township Trees. Also, in a few specific locations just inside the sidewalks, right of way, and in public recreation areas. Verona has been a Tree City for 26 consecutive years.Request for Township planting, pruning and removal should be made by calling Public Works at 973-857-4804. To learn more about The Verona Shade Tree Commission, our Township Trees and how to help them please READ HERE. Residents are encouraged to contact the police at 911 to report any emergency and (973) 239-5000 regarding any police related matter. Trees or power lines that have come down should be reported.